26.5 Moses 26, Day 5

A Message from the Future

Have you ever broken a bone?  Been in a bad wreck?  Suffered a bad injury or hurt, physically or emotionally?

What if you had the ability to go back in time and get a message to yourself before the event?  What would you tell yourself?  It would probably be something along the lines of… Don’t do that!!!

God knows everything about the Israelites.  He knows their past, present and future – just as He knows yours and mine.  Throughout the book of Deuteronomy He is reaching through time to deliver a message to the people, especially one of warnings of the harmful things He knows lie in their future.  He is telling them time and again, don’t do that.

When you decide you want to be like other nations around you and have a king…

When you are tempted to participate in detestable practices such as sacrificing your own children, divination, sorcery…

When you get well fed in the land and begin to forget the Lord…

Keep reading through the old testament and you find incredibly specific instances where the Hebrews are in the middle of the wreck of their own making and the sin and hurt and pain that it causes, that exactly matches the things Deuteronomy is warning them not to do.

Did they forget that God knew their future?  These aren’t suggestions, they are warnings.

Unfortunately, they are warnings for you and me as well.  There are no new sins.  There are no new temptations.  No temptation has ever or will ever present itself except the same old common temptations that man has faced and God has overcome since Adam and Eve.  (1 Cor 10:13)

But they keep coming and we continue to fail to heed the warnings that God has written into the Bible.  We even know they will continue.  Deuteronomy provides warnings about false prophets.  Revelation talks about the False Prophet that is to come.

But we can change and it starts with what you are doing right now – studying the Word of God. Knowing His word leads to having an attitude of gratitude that God loves us so much that He has given us these instructions and warnings.  And, most importantly that He has given us the most special privilege of all: to know Him.

Deuteronomy 4:35 sums it up well, “You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.

 

My Answers:

11.
a.
one from among them, avoided greed, trappings of power, multiple wives.  He must write for himself a copy of the law and read it every day and follow it carefully, not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn them from the law

b.
many of them were evil – Solomon took many wives, had great wealth and his foreign wives tempted him to turn from God

12.
a.
sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.

b.
Jesus Christ

c.
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. – Test it against scripture!

13.
a.
As a seal of the covenant – God commanded it – it was only after the offering that they were to rejoice in the full blessing of the Lord

b.
v. 11 – Rejoice

c.
Offer back to God in all He has give me: Time, love, family, faith, voice, money, business, future, health, obedience,  – in an attitude of gratitude

26.4 Moses 26, day 4

Avoiding Temptations through Intentional Congregation

Your faith in God is your own.  Your walk with God is a personal walk.  Your relationship with God is individual and personal.  God loves and desires you.  Jesus died for you.  The Holy Spirit will dwell in you.  God created you and His promises or for you, personally.

But, you will find that, to live an obedient life, there is strength in numbers.  We are called into a community of believers.  We are called into church.  Not only the buildings we call churches, but the bigger church, the body of believers.

That community is not a figurative community, it is a real one.  We are to join it, participate in it, be involved in it.  Know the other members.  Be known to the other members of the community.  Be transparent.  Teach and be taught.  Worship together.

At the time of Moses, the community was built around a physical place.  We are still called to make a physical connection, but in Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are also to make a spiritual connection.  The tabernacle was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ physical presence on the Earth.  But, as Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4:23, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Use the strength of the church to avoid temptation.  Temptation can come from many sources.  It can come from false teachers and prophets, even those who appear to have abilities to know about the future.  Temptation can come from family.  Temptation can even come from troublemakers within the community that was designed to give you strength.  But when temptation happens, do not be too shy or proud to face it together.

We’re called to be intentional in our faith and especially in the manner in which we live out our faith.  It starts with being intentional in obedience and worship.  Take giving for example.  The festival of weeks, also known as Pentecost, also known as the festival of first fruits, is discussed in Deuteronomy 16.  When the people entered the promised land, and even in later years, farmers would watch their fields and, at the first sign of ripening of fruit, they would go into the gardens and tie a ribbon around the vine of the first fruit to show the first signs of ripening.  When it was fully ripe, these fruits went into a basket and were presented at the temple.  We often think of giving in terms of monetary gifts and, to many of us, one dollar is not any different than another dollar.  But, God doesn’t want just any fruit or any dollar, He, for our sake, wants us to commit the first dollar or first product of our work or fields of labor.  How would your rejoicing in giving be different if you set the first fruits of your labor aside in a gift box designated for God?  How would that simple act cascade through your approach and thinking about the rest of each day of work?

How about tithing?  If instead of viewing it as sacrifices you were giving up of things that belonged to you, you, instead saw it and participated in it as a gathering with others in the family of believers?  Feeding each other, caring for each other, communing with others, together, equally, forgiving debts, setting each other free from servanthood.  If this is what we made “the church” look like, our next generation would be packed in together with us instead of being absent as is more the norm today.

But we are the church.  It isn’t for someone else to do, it starts with us – you and me.  To live in intentional faith.  To take our personal relationship and join it, intentionally, with others to be the body of believers in Christ in His church.

 

My Answers:

9.
a.
destroy them completely

b.
The temple was a foreshadowing of heaven and living in community with Jesus.  It was also to keep His people united as a community instead of “i worship my god, you worship yours”.

c.
A warning to join the community where God has place His name, to see Jesus in the articles of worship, to participate in true worship not trying to possess God – (john 4:23) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

10.
(1) A prophet who foretells dreams – even if signs take place.  (2) family member entices you (3) troublemakers within your town

26.3 Moses 26, day 3

At the Gateway of the Next Thing

We’ve all been at the place where the Israelites find themselves in the book of Deuteronomy.  They are no longer wandering the desert, but they also have net yet moved into the next stage of their life.  They are in the “in between”, knowing they are at the gateway of what God has in store for them next, but not yet being called to move into that next mission.

If any of us reflect on our life, we’ve spent time in this place.  In some ways it is one of the most difficult places to live.  Its not the time of trial and survival, but it isn’t the time of feast and bounty.  Its not the desert, but it also is not the promised land.  Maybe you are there right now.

I think we can learn a lot from Deuteronomy 4-11 to help us navigate this time of life as people of God.

Stay in the word of God.  Don’t add to it or subtract from it.  Don’t embellish the stories but also don’t forget the lessons.

Keep your eyes open, but don’t allow them to deceive you into making something you see into an idol for worship.  Not the sun or moon or stars, not people, things, animals.

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.

Learn and study the word of God.  Not only the letter of the law but even more so the intent.  Know and obey the 10 commandments and also the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Teach them to your children, talk about God in everything you do.  Put the word of God in your thoughts and in the work of your hands, on your place of dwelling and your journey from gate to gate.

As you think forward to whatever God has planned for you next be resolute, fortified and committed that you will not compromise or settle whatever you may face.  Whatever God has planned for your future, He has planned all the way, without compromise.

Look forward to and claim the blessings of God’s covenant to the obedient, “He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young.  The Lord will keep you free from every disease.”

Commit yourself to not forget to praise and worship.  When God calls you to move forward and you receive the blessings, don’t forget who brought you to the dance.  You are not going there because of your skills or your righteousness, you are going because of God.

Remember your weaknesses.  The temptations you have faced in the past are temptations you will face in the future.  Learn from your past mistakes so that you won’t repeat them.

Love the Lord your God.  There is one God.  He loves you.  Love Him.

Be obedient.  Observe the commands.  Learn them and know them.  Faithfully obey the commands.  Carefully obey the commands.

Know that wherever God is going to lead you, He is going there before you and preparing the way.  Wherever it is you will be going in obedience, God is there now.

 

My Answers:

5.
a.
He is jealous for what is His.  He warns his people what will happen.

b.
heard the voice of God speaking out of fire and lived, took one nation out of another, testings, signs and wonders, war, mighty hand, outstretched arm, great and awesome deeds, , shown things so they might know the LORD

c.
The bible, His spirit, life, family, church, To see the blessing of children.  To have God guide the hand of Doctors.  To find a mission and work for the Lord.  To be given a voice.

6.
a.
Obedience: keeping all his decrees and commands, keeping all his decrees and commands,  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength

b.
Impress them on their children, Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates – Family get togethers focused on God – inviting in missionaries, model prayer

7.
The warning to not forget the Lord when He has brought me into times of “a good land” or when I “have eaten and are satisfied”, but instead – Praise the Lord

8.
fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good

 

26.2 Moses 26, Day 2

Checking the rear-view mirror

Deuteronomy is a collection of benedictions (good words) of Moses.  Basically, his last lecture of the things he wants to ensure the people of God hear and heed.

He starts his sermon with a review of where God’s people had been.  The Hebrew people had been here before.  The last time they were at the doorway to the promised land, they proved themselves to be rebellious and despite the truth spoken by Caleb and Joshua, they refused to enter the land.

This event is the entry point for this current generation.  It was their parents who were the decision makers in the rebellion.  It was their parents who longed for Egypt.

But Moses words are addressed to “you” not to “them.”  This generation is tied to the last.  We inherit the sins of our parents and they shape us.  But we have a choice in how they shape us.  Do we choose to be limited by them.  Do we choose to repeat the same patterns and repeat the same mistakes or do we choose to learn from them and rise above.  But, in either situations, we aren’t to be in denial.  When we shame and blame our parents and ancestors we delude ourselves into thinking we are not impacted by or have liability/baggage from their decisions.  Moses does talk about them, he talks to you.  The message is personal

But, while Moses addresses the “you”, he doesn’t romanticize the past or prompt this generation to have any desire to repeat the sins.  The review is a clear look in the rearview mirror to keep that past behind them as they move forward.

This generation shouldn’t have any desire to repeat the past 40 years, but they should also understand that God has used that time to shape them and prepare them.  Think about how it has shaped and prepared them.  They had spent 38 years on an 11 day journey.  For the past 40 years this generation has watched more than 80 of their parents and grandparents, on average, die every day, day after day.  We learned in the Numbers 26 that over 600,000 men had died over the past 40 years.  Assuming an equal number of men and women that is 1.2 Million people who have died.  1,200,000 divided by 40 years divided by 365 days = 82 deaths per day on average.  This generation has grown up homeless, wandering from place to place with no land to call their own.  They have moved their herds, but they have also lived always under the care of the Lord.  God has provided their daily bread.  God has gone before them and dwelt with them and protected them.  They have seen the impact of sin and rebellion both in day-to-day life and in major events such as plagues and fire and even the earth opening up and swallowing families.  They have also witnessed the blessings of being God’s chosen people.

God has used all of that to prepare them, train them and bring them to this place.  But, through Moses words, he also reminds them that this generation is not immune to the heritage of the generation before.  They are not to lose sight of the rebellion, but they are to keep it behind them.

What sins of prior generations are you trying to deny?  What sins of prior generations do you wish to forget?  Which attitudes of your parents are temptations to you as well?  What hardships have you experienced in your life?  Are you angry and wounded by those hardships and blaming them on others or can you look in the rear-view mirror and see how they have been used to training and teaching you how to walk with God?

 

My Answers:

3.
in the wilderness east of the Jordan 11 days journey from Mt. Horeb (10 commandments) – that took them 38 years to travel

4.
a.
They had rebelled, they had turned away from God, They had been blessed, Because of unbelief they had wandered for 38 years, An entire generation had perished

b.
Instructed the Israelites (I said…) Spoke with the Lord, Commanded the Israelites, saw Gods might, commissioned Joshua, was allowed to see the promised land but not enter it

c.
was faithful, spoke to His people, Was with the people and Moses, Fought battles for them, defeated people for them, blessed the people, watched over their journey